Design and construction of regenerative amplifier and compressor for chirped pulse amplification

Geskus, D. (2006) Design and construction of regenerative amplifier and compressor for chirped pulse amplification.

Abstract:Research on acceleration of electrons by plasma waves will be performed at the laser physics and non-linear optics group of the University of Twente to develop a new compact method for acceleration of electrons. This method of electron acceleration requires an intense ultrashort laser pulse to induce a plasma wave in the plasma on which the electrons can ”surf” to higher kinetic energies. Therefore, a laser is being developed that should deliver an 1 Joule laser pulse with a duration of 30 fs to generate the demanded 30 TW of optical power for creation of the plasma wave as required for this electron wake field acceleration experiment. The principle of the laser is based on chirped pulse amplification; a stretched pulse is amplified to the demanded energy, and recompressed afterwards. This report describes the performed work concerning the design and construc tion of a pre-amplifier and a compressor. For pre-amplification of the pulse a regenerative amplifier is used, which has been constructed and characterised. The measured output power of the regenerative amplifier is approximately 3.5 mJ, in the future this pulse will be further amplified by two additional multi- pass amplifiers. But as this further amplification is beyond the scope of this master thesis, it will not be treated in this report. A grating compressor with an efficiency of approximately 70%, recompresses the pre-amplified pulse to a duration of 29 fs with a pulse energy of the compressed pulse of 2.5 mJ. For creation of short pulses the dispersion of the optical system becomes very important. Because chirped pulse amplification is based on introducing disper sion in a controlled manner, it is of vital importance to fully comprehend these dispersive properties of the experimental set-up. Therefore, mathematical mod els have been successfully evaluated and the final output of the experimental set-up agrees very well to the results of the used mathematical models.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:33 physics
Programme:Applied Physics MSc (60436)
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